Five-time Bouldering World Cup winner Kilian Fischhuber might have retired from climbing competitions two years ago, but he’s still very active in the sport. The Austrian rock specialist now spends most of his time travelling around the world, seeking new climbing challenges.
Kilian’s latest climbing mission took him to Hong Kong and Yangshuo in southern China’s Guangxi region, where he and some of his climbing buddies discovered the area’s best rock-climbing spots.
We caught up with him to find out how he fared out there.
Why did you decide to visit China?
I’ve been competing in China for many years, but I’ve never had the chance to go rock climbing. I wanted to come back and get a new perspective. We knew we could find cool spots in Yangshuo, but had no information, so we spent some time with a local climber. He showed us the places and it was unbelievable.
What’s unique about climbing in China?
They have totally different rock formations. In Yangshuo, we climbed the biggest arch I've ever seen. It’s not difficult (graded 8a), but it’s so inspiring. This alone is worth the trip. Overall, the whole experience was not about finding the most difficult climbs. We went up to 8c+ grade max. It was more about the fact you’re climbing in totally different landscapes.
How are the conditions for climbing?
The climate is different. It can change very fast and you need to be ready. When we arrived, it was humid, so not ideal for climbing. But then the temperature dropped suddenly from 30 to 10 degrees.
Where are you going next?
I’m always willing to invest time into seeking new spots to climb all around the world. There’s still a lot of potential in China. I’ll go back there soon. But my next trip is still a secret – you’ll know more soon. Maybe some new rock formations around the Mediterranean, especially Greece and Turkey. They have incredible limestone formations there.